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Somerset Phoenix Project

Working alongside professionals and supporting children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse.

A specialist service supporting the development of professionals in Somerset. We are here to reduce the negative impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the lives of children and families living in Somerset

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FAQ's about the assessment

The Assessment of Need is a process that helps the Phoenix Team to find out more about your child(ren) and you. We will ask you to tell us as much as you want to about the abuse your child(ren) experienced but the majority of the time we will focus on things such as their presenting behaviours; their likes/dislikes, hobbies, interests; friends; school; how they are feeling; any fears or worries they have; what changes have happened in their life and if their personality has changed and how.

We will ask you to complete some documents that will help us better understand your child(ren) and their current needs.

We will also share our confidentiality policy, complaints procedure and privacy notice (what we do with the information you give us) with you. We will ask you to sign a consent form – without this we cannot support your child(ren) or you.

If there is an Early Help Assessment in place or if you are open to Children’s Social Care the person undertaking the Assessment of Need with you may attend the next professionals meeting.

If it appropriate to do so, we may meet your child(ren) during this process.

We will meet you at a place where you feel safe and comfortable, e.g. this could be your home or at a public cafe.


The assessment could be completed in one meeting but it could take more, especially if support has been requested for more than one child. Each meeting will usually last between 1 – 2 hours.

No, it is up to you how much you tell us but the more you can tell us the more information we will be able to draw on to better support your child(ren).

If you give us consent to do so, it is sometimes very helpful to speak to other professionals or agencies supporting your child(ren), e.g. school, social worker, police, getset.

Once we have gathered all the information from you, it is shared with the rest of our small team so we can think how we might be able to best help your child(ren) and you. We will listen to what you want and try our best to offer this. We may not be able to offer what you want but will try our best to offer something that hopefully will be helpful.

If you decide that you do want our support then a Phoenix worker will be allocated to your family. This may be the same person who undertook the Assessment of Need but this is not guaranteed.

The allocated worker will then organise to meet your child(ren) if they haven’t done so already.

Support can take place at school during the school day and/or at home.

You can change your mind at any point; we just ask that you give us a call to let us know. You can call us again at any point should you decide that you do want support.

If you have any questions or can’t make your assessment of need meeting(s) then please call the person who booked the meeting with you.

Barnardo's is a charity (216250 / SC037605) and a company limited by guarantee.
(61625 England - see the governing document). Registered office: Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 1QG | VAT number 507477337